The Danger of Asbestos

Hey folks, Pete Ferrante here. Welcome to my new informational series where I look to help you navigate the waters of environmental abatement and hazardous material removal.

I’ll be taking a sort of layman’s, easy to approach fashion to these questions to provide as much value to you as I can.

In our first series, we’re diving deep into asbestos removal to answer any potential questions you may have. In part two, I’ll be discussing how much asbestos removal typically costs and financing options you might have.

Pete Ferrante is the President and CEO of FERRO Environmental. He specializes in full spectrum abatement and remediation — such as asbestos and soil remediation — and is committed to bringing the top industry talent to his clients’ projects. The result? FERRO regularly appears as a PROFIT 100 Company in Canada.

He also sits on the Board of Environmental Abatement Council of Ontario (EACO) and the Toronto Construction Association’s Environmental Committee.

Check out the rest of the series on Asbestos Removal!

The following is an edited transcript.

What are the Dangers of Asbestos?

We know how asbestos impacts infrastructure, but how does it impact the human body? What makes it so dangerous?

Well, listen. Let’s start with the worst. The reality is, it’s a dangerous substance for a reason.

There’s plenty of documented proof, studies, and information out there right now, and unfortunately, a vast number of deaths surrounding the application and the exposure to asbestos.

Beginning with asbestosis, which is a scarring of the lung tissue.

Asbestos Isn’t Harmful Until it’s Friable

The problem is, asbestos really isn’t harmful until it’s friable, that’s the word they use in the regulations.


All that means is that, when someone says it’s friable, it means it can be broken up. To go even deeper, it can be broken up by hand.

For instance, a ceiling tile can be broken up by hand and become those fibers if there is asbestos in the tile, become airborne, and you can inhale them.

How Does Asbestosis Occur?

Asbestosis occurs when your body is unable to effectively get rid of asbestos fibers.

Those fibers get lodged in the lung and get irritated. When that irritation happens, scar tissue builds up and then you have a hard time breathing. Unfortunately, this can cause a myriad of problems like lung cancers, mesothelioma, and COPD.

Basically, all this lung scarring, cancer, and breathing issues typically occur due to long-term asbestos exposure.

That’s how asbestos becomes so dangerous.

The Consequences of Asbestos

If you’re sitting in a room that has asbestos in the joint compound of the drywall, you’re likely pretty safe.

That is if it’s not getting airborne or being disturbed. The issue becomes when you actually disturb it.

If you are in a space where there is work on insulation that has deteriorated or piping that has been broken, and people are working in that area, dust is created. Within that dust will be asbestos fibers.

That’s really the biggest challenge you’re going to face.

Asbestosis Can Take Decades to Present Itself

Unfortunately, it’s not typically a one-time exposure kind of deal.

These symptoms and the problems that result from asbestos exposure take years, in some cases decades, to present themselves. That has caused the sorts of health problems we are seeing now, decades after asbestos was first installed in Canada.

Any respiratory issues get exacerbated when you’ve had long-term asbestos exposure. It’s that simple. That’s the plain and simple truth of it.

FERRO Environmental Can Help You with Asbestos Removal

Thanks for reading the first part of my series on asbestos removal in Ontario. By all means, feel free to reach out if there’s anything that I haven’t addressed, or if you have a specific project or question that you need answering.

As always, I will do my best to help you out.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of this series!

FERRO Environmental offers a full spectrum of environmental contracting services to ensure that when you only have one chance to get it right with waste disposal, your site and your bottom-line are always protected. Contact us to learn how we can help you today!